Offensive guard Deion Eakins from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. is seeing his recruitment take off after flying under the radar to start. Schools like Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue, Duke, South Florida and South Carolina have all shown interest and could join an offer list that includes ECU.
Starting in March Eakins began seeing the offers roll in. Florida International was the first school, followed by Georgia Southern. In May ECU stopped by Eakins' school – the meeting resulted in an offer.
"(Defensive coordinator) Rick Smith came down a watched practice and found me," said the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Eakins. "He said he'd be back in the morning. My head coach told my dad (ECU) was interested. They had talked about camp and offering. The next morning I was called out of first period and talked to my offensive line coach. He said the coaches wanted me and that's when ECU became my third offer."
Eakins also mentioned he was excited when ECU bought in to him and offer. He immediately looked up more information about the school and the football program. The win over UNC Chapel Hill last season by the Pirates was the biggest attention grabber for him.
It's safe to say ECU has him interested.
Eakins will be out to campus this summer for a visit and looks forward to meeting more coaches and seeing the atmosphere around campus.
Multiple factors will play into Eakins' commitment and one he thinks about often is the distance between home.
"If I go out of state I would want to come home sometimes," said Eakins. "If I was in Florida I could come home easy. If I look at schools like Cincinnati, I'm looking at plane tickets. It affects my decision, but doesn't fully decide it. Academics play a big role. My mom looks up the numbers and rankings of each school. The relationship with coaches will play a role too."
Eakins mentioned ECU wouldn't be the worst spot as far as distance from family. He has family in Raleigh so he would at least be close to them.
The summer of 2014 will be busy for Eakins. He has big plans of getting better in all facets of his game and will also be taking his recruitment very seriously. The summer will be filled with visits and trips to the weight room.
"Before I know it February will be here and I'll be picking a hat," said Eakins. "This year will be big. I really need to sit down make a lot of phone calls. I will also take visits to campuses for game day. ECU will be on the list of schools I go to."
The overall goal for his senior season is helping his team repeat as state champions.